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Peppernut Snowmen Cookies

Peppernut Snowmen

Peppernut cookies, or Pfeffernusse in German, are traditionally tiny spice cookies (the size of a nut) and are loaded with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.  There’s molasses, too, for a deep flavor and a splash of brandy for brightness.  But, the ingredient that sets these little guys apart is pepper!

I got the idea to turn my peppernut cookies into snowmen from a happy accident made by Heavenly Homemakers, who found that when she put three cookie dough balls near each other on the tray, they merged together into a snowman.  I put my dough balls close on purpose. :)

My tasters were scared of these peppernut snowmen, however there was no reason for them to be.  The pepper in peppernut cookies gives them a little spunk and, once one peppernut cookie was happily eaten, word spread about how tasty they were.  Soon, people weren’t only trying them, but having seconds and thirds.

CK Products 4 Ounce Sanding Sugar Bottle, White

To decorate the snowmen, I used white sanding sugar.

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Wilton 710-1341 Easter Bunny and Carrot Sprinkles Mix Bottle, 3.4-Ounce

Their noses are carrot sprinkles.  Carrot sprinkles are hard to find when it’s not Easter-time.  But, you can buy some online or you could actually use a piece of a carrot.

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Whole Pink Peppercorns Tin

I used pink peppercorns both in the cookies and for the buttons.  This adds even more pepper flavor and makes the peppernut cookies even spicier.  If you prefer a less spicy cookie, you could use red sprinkles.  Fun fact: Pink peppercorns are actually berries, but they sure taste like peppercorns.

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Peppernut Snowmen Cookies Recipe

Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies

My peppernut cookie recipe is modified from the one in this book to use pink peppercorns and to be shaped like a snowman.  The original recipe also included candied orange peel and lemon zest which I chose not to include.

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Peppernut Snowmen
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5 from 1 vote

Peppernut Snowmen Cookies

Peppernut cookies, or Pfeffernusse in German, are traditionally tiny spice cookies (the size of a nut) and are loaded with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword peppernut cookies, pfeffernusse
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill 8 hours
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 16 snowmen
Calories 59kcal
Author Stef


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns you can smash them with a mortar and pestle or use a spice grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • white sanding sugar for decorating
  • 32 black peppercorns for decorating
  • 16 carrot sprinkles for decorating
  • 48 pink peppercorns for decorating


  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ground pink peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a small cup, mix molasses and brandy.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in egg yolk.
  • Mix in chopped almonds.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and molasses/brandy to the butter/sugar mixture in thirds until everything is added.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least eight hours or up to three days to allow the flavors to meld.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Remove dough from the refrigerator and pull off three tiny pieces (each about 3/4 inch, but one slightly smaller and one slightly larger). Roll each piece into a little ball.
  • Line the three balls up like a snowman - just touching each other - on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Repeat for the rest of the dough, keeping snowmen one inch apart from each other on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with white sanding sugar.
  • Give each snowman black peppercorn eyes, a carrot sprinkle nose, and pink peppercorn buttons.
  • Return to the oven for another four to six minutes until the cookies are slightly darker on the edges.
  • Cool the cookies on a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.


Nutrition Facts
Peppernut Snowmen Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 59 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 46mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 4g4%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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One comment on “Peppernut Snowmen Cookies”

  1. Clairesays:

    These look so cute, and sound delicious. I wish I had found these earlier.

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